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From Ceki Gülcü <nore...@qos.ch>
Subject Re: maintaining the Frequently Asked Questions
Date Wed, 01 Sep 2004 15:30:04 GMT
At 05:03 PM 9/1/2004, you wrote:
>A wiki needs to be easily editable, or it isn't a wiki.
>The entire site is immutable, and clicking on the edit button says
>"You are not allowed to edit this page."  No reason why, no suggestion
>on how that might be changed, no nothing -- just that I'm not allowed
>to edit it.

You have to be logged in to edit the pages. Otherwise, the page is marked 
as immutable. It seems that *all* Apache wiki pages exhibit this behavior.

>People can hardly be faulted for not maintaining something that they
>can't maintain.


>And since those in charge of the wiki's content
>obviously want it frozen, what's the point in complaining about it?

That is not a correct characterization because the pages become editable as 
soon as you log in as anybody. You don't need special privs to edit the pages.

>The appearance is that those in charge WANT it to say that "Andreav is
>a fast and flexible framework" because they're the only ones that can
>(at least at this time) make that kind of edit.  (Or people just
>didn't notice that it said "Andreav"... I had to read the page a
>couple of times before my brain didn't automatically substitute
>"log4j" there.)

>Having A volunteer maintain it goes against the point of a wiki.  The
>point is that the community maintains it.  Right now that's not
>happening because it's not easy to do.
>It may be that it's a problem with bad user-interface design -- maybe
>you CAN edit pages, but you need to log in first.  But there's no link
>that says "login" or "registration", and the error message doesn't say
>that it's even necessary.  It's hardly surprising that the designers
>of MoinMoin would overlook that since having to jump through hoops to
>edit a wiki largely violates the spirit, but it's still an issue.

I agree. The requirement to have people identify themselves is not more 
secure, and it's certainly more cumbersome. Indeed, nothing prevents people 
from registering as Mickey Mouse.

>"You can submit a patch against..."
>To maintain product source code, having a fairly high barrier of entry
>is fine.  But the FAQ??  If someone wants to contribute a question and
>answer for the FAQ they should:
>   * Figure out that to do so they need to use the same process as
>patching source code
>   * Figure out how to login and check out the source code for the
>entire project on their machine
>     - First installing cvs if they're on a OS that doesn't already
>have it (eg, Windows)
>   * Figure out where the file is
>   * Learn the syntax of the XML that the FAQ uses
>     - How do they know they didn't just screw something up with a
>missing tag or the like?
>   * Figure out how to produce a patch file (you can't assume that
>people with good questions and answers are open-source developers,
>just open-source users)
>   * Figure out where to send the patch file
>Not exactly a huge encouragement to keeping it up to date...

Correct. However, for log4j committers none of the above should
be a problem.

>Maybe a compromise, assuming that an easily editable wiki is a little
>"too open", is to put a prominent note at the top of the FAQ saying
>"If you have a question and answer that you think should be part of
>this FAQ, please send an email with the information to
>log4j-dev@logging.apache.org"  That puts a little more work on the
>log4j developers, but not much, makes it clear and easy for people to
>submit FAQ entries, and gives the developers the ability to do quality

That sounds reasonable. Would you like to do it? If the answers is yes, 
then I'll be happy to grant you back your commit privileges.

>But having three FAQs (faq.xml, the old wiki and the moinmoin one) is
>confusing and aggravating.  Two of them need to be killed, and the
>remaining one easily maintainable.


>-Jim Moore

Ceki Gülcü

      For log4j documentation consider "The complete log4j manual"
      ISBN: 2970036908 http://www.qos.ch/shop/products/clm_t.jsp  

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